A week of big news

announcement

Yes.  Big, big news.  I am going to be a grand-mère.  Mamie, as my Frenchies are already calling me.  Pronounced Ma-Me.  Son #1 and Mom-to-Be invited me over at 7:00 am a couple of weeks ago to take the photo.  Buddha is a handsome fellow, too, isn’t he?  Looks as if he is ready to take his job seriously.  A lot to wrap my head around and so very exciting now that I have!  The Parents-to-Be stopped by my classroom a couple of days ago to give me a little present and more big news.  I burst into tears.  Of course.

girl bracelet

And to share a photo.  (They did not have this technology when Dad-to-Be was patiently waiting to be born.)

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Oui, that’s the Little Nugget who will be known as Kennedy in a few months.  Amazing. Incroyable.

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I want happiness for them.  A healthy baby.  Love.  And more love.  A child can never have too many people who love her (nor can her parents). She needs the devotion of a sweet pup.  And a grand-mère who has been given permission to decorate Son #1’s old room in pink and Eiffel Towers for when Kennedy comes over to stay. Visions of souvenirs from France are dancing in my head.  Baking with her.  Her first apron.  Someone to inherit all my Eiffel Towers.  And books about France. Pretty exciting stuff, n’est-ce pas?

School’s second week is coming to a close.  Almost everyone in the entire school is off on one field trip or another.  Most to the great outdoors in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

The Ex-Ex went rappelling.  I tried that once.  Scared the bejesus out of me.

SE

He is now back safe and sound.  And with both feet firmly on the ground.

I got up early this morning and baked for my fabulous 7th grade teammates.  A few days ago, Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted an update to her blueberry muffin recipe and I had blueberries waiting in the refrigerator.  One of my buddies proclaimed them the “best blueberry muffins I have eaten in my 48 years on this planet.”  That is high praise.

unbaked muffins

muffins 1

I think it’s the abundance of blueberries and the crunchy turbinado sugar on top that pushed this from good to great.

(Didn’t save any for the Ex-Ex…  oops.)

Even More Perfect Blueberry Muffins

Smitten Kitchen

(Below is Deb’s recipe copied and pasted.  I came out with 12 muffins and baked them for 23 minutes.  Her pictures are much more beautiful than mine!  Check them out by clicking on the link above.  Believe me, Blythe Danner has never commented on one of my recipes!)

This began with an adaptation of an old Cook’s Illustrated blueberry muffin but with so many changes, it no longer resembles the original. I use yogurt instead of buttermilk, less sugar, I’ve adapted it to make it one-bowl and then in August 2016 it got the biggest overhaul yet after a month of blueberry muffin studies. From Stella Parks at Serious Eats, I came to agree that a full teaspoon of coarse sugar on top of each muffin sounds crazy but actually makes a delightfully crunchy lid. If the muffin underneath it isn’t too sweet, it doesn’t put it over the top at all — it’s just right. I also found her combination of coriander (I know!) and nutmeg crazy good and worth trying if you’re curious, even if I’m still defaulting to my lemon zest only here. From Blythe Danner, I realized you could put an inordinate amount of berries in each muffin and still have a very good muffin. I ended up doubling the berries in my go-to in the last batch and regret not-a-thing. (Should you be hesitant, just an increase from 3/4 cups to 1 1/4 is excellent but not over-the-top improvement.) I found it made 9 taller and more gorgeous muffins than it did of the 10 to 11 in the original recipe; just double it for a crowd.

 

  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
  • Finely grated zest from 1/2 a lemon (previously: 1/2 teaspoon zest)
  • 3/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream- I used Fage plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups (215 to 255 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (no need to defrost) (previously: 3/4 cup, see note up top)
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado (sugar in the raw) sugar

 

Heat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 9 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Melt butter in the bottom of a large bowl and whisk in sugar, zest, yogurt and egg until smooth. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully combined, then lightly fold in flour and berries. Batter will be very thick, like a cookie dough. Divide between prepared muffin cups and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar, which will seem over-the-top but I promise, will be the perfect crunchy lid at the end. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (you know, except for blueberry goo). Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then … on a rack. 

Bon appétit and much love and happiness to all!  This morning when I got in my car to go to school, I got my first glimpse that fall just might be on the way.  I am ready and waiting.

autumn leaf

3 thoughts on “A week of big news

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